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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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I let my house to a company and only a representative of the

Customer Question

I let my house to a company and only a representative of the company signed a company let tenancy agreement. The persons in occupation were licensees of the company and I did not deal with them directly and nor did they sign contract. The Company representative agreed the full advertised rental rate and we were progressing. I then found out that the Company wanted to house 5 people in my house and this would mean I would have to comply with HMO rules which would be expensive and onerous.
I informed the Company that I could not do that and said that only 4 people could, therefore, occupy the house as licensees. The Company said that if they could only sublet the house to 4 people and not 5 they would pay £200 less than we agreed. I had already moved out and into rented accommodation myself so could not afford for this Company to now renege so I reluctantly agreed. I then found out during a landlord inspection that there were actually 5 people living in the house as licenced occupiers. They had also caused considerable damage (£6,000) by allowing heating to remain on over 40 degrees even when we had put in writing that this would cause a problem in a 100 year old property.
I photographed the damage and sent these by email to the same Company representative, along with notification that I had discovered that the contract had been breached (for it stipulated that only 4 people would be allowed to reside at the house) and asked when the 5th person would leave. I did not receive a reply from the Company/representative.
I inspected again shortly before the Company Let came to an end and found that there was still the same 5 people staying at the house. Again I emailed the Company representative and stated that they had breached contract throughout and that I would now need to take advice as to whether or not I can use the deposit to recoup what rent would have been due for 5 persons living in the house.
Again the representative has ignored my email and simply asked where the deposit is registered and what number it is registered under. The Company Let falls outside TDS as is not an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and I now need to tell them that I hold the deposit separately in an account of my name. I am keen to understand what I should do in this situation.
Can I hold deposit monies to reflect the fact that they wilfully knew that they should have paid rent for 5 people (the tenancy agreement states that deposit can be used if rent is not paid) or do I withhold deposit to take account of the damaged caused at the house, unintentionally or otherwise, even though that was 6 months ago?
I paid the money for rectification of damage but I am still waiting for the invoice from the men who carried out the replumbing and redecoration works and have chased twice and again today. I don’t want to fall foul of the law but equally I don’t want this Company to ‘get away’ with knowingly and wilfully breaking contract and not paying what we originally agreed was the rental value of the property. Grateful for your consideration in this matter.Thank you,Jennifer
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: I believe everything pertinent is in my previous email. Thanks.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Ignoring the HMO matter because it appears it has not cropped up, does the tenancy agreement provide for you to get rent based upon the number of occupiers?

What the legal number of occupiers be 4 and did the agreement specifying 5?

If it was just a rental agreement and they crammed another person in, what provision is there in the agreement for you to get paid per capita?

What damage has been caused to the property?